Conservative Republicans Losing Steam on Default Dare

National Journal
Jan. 22, 2013

House Republican leadership appears to have quieted naysayers on their right who recently seemed hungry to threaten default and defy conventional arguments that such a hardline stance would trigger crisis.

As the House prepares to take steps to push back the debt ceiling deadline until May, the debate within the party is still focused on how to achieve the GOP’s desired spending cuts using other less credit-threatening vehicles, such as the sequester or the soon-to-expire continuing resolution to fund the government...

“Republicans very well understand that crisis we went through from not raising the debt ceiling and that was explained at Williamsburg,” said a GOP aide.

Other budget wonks watching deliberations behind the scenes on Capitol Hill agree the arguments that default would not be disastrous seem to be waning, particularly at the behest of leaders and “old bulls” in the party.

“There is growing recognition that not raising the debt ceiling would have an impact that would be very difficult for the economy,” said G. William Hoagland, a senior vice president with the Bipartisan Policy Center. “The discussion that happened down at Williamsburg had a lot to do with that evolution. I’m thinking that Paul Ryan had a lot to do with the discussion down there -- that he recognizes that the statutory debt ceiling is not something that you want to play around with.”